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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The mic guy, the "dying" GOP, Trump's sniffles, and a way to escape the nightmare of a third debate

Never piss off the Mic Guy. A sound engineer who worked on The Apprentice spills a few Trumpian beans:
“Micing him was honestly the most abusive, humiliating experience of my 15 years as a sound engineer,” the engineer told BuzzFeed News. “He treated me like I wasn’t a human being.”

The engineer said the first time he was assigned to put a mic on Trump, the television personality refused to shake his hand, instead turning to one of his many assistants and saying, “’Whoa, whoa, whoa, who’s this fucking monkey?’” the engineer said, adding that the comment was not racially charged.

He said that throughout their interactions, Trump refused to address him directly, instead aiming all of his comments about the engineer to his assistants.

“’I’m not gonna let this fucking monkey touch me unless he washes his hands,” Trump said, according to the engineer. Trump then made one of his assistants escort the engineer to the bathroom and watch him wash his hands, before walking him back and telling Trump he washed up.

“Trump just kept calling me a ‘fucking monkey’ over and over,” the engineer said. “I’ve mic’d everyone from Ben Affleck to Renée Zellweger, and never, ever in my career have I run into something like that.”
A few words of explanation may be in order. We've all seen those small clip-on lapel mics affixed to on-screen "talent," yet we rarely think about how those mics got there. A wire connects the microphone to either a transmitter (a pocket-sized black box) or a small recording device. The wire runs under the suit jacket, and often under a shirt or blouse.

Thus, a large part of the sound engineer's job is psychological. He or she must keep the talent relaxed and comfortable during the intimate process of wiring. This task becomes particularly tricky when the engineer is male and the person being wired is a female interview subject who is not a professional entertainer.

Obviously, sound engineers must develop a friendly, non-threatening demeanor and a standard line of patter. They take pride in their ability to set the talent at ease. And, of course, they always keep themselves decently groomed.

I'm sure that the guy who had to wire up Trump is a pro. But here's the thing: Trump himself was a professional television personality. He should have understood from the start that his lucrative gig required him to overcome his well-known paranoia concerning germs and contamination. Besides, the sound guy would not have made contact with Donnie's precious tangerine-hued skin: Since Trump always wears a suit, there was no need to run the wire beneath his shirt.

Is the GOP dying? No, it isn't -- and reports of its coming demise have become downright annoying.

Get real: If Trump loses the election, the Republican party will probably still control the House of Representatives and -- in all likelihood -- the Senate. On the state level, most governors and legislators will be Republican. Fox News will remain the most powerful "news" source in the country. Trump and Breitbart are likely to form their own propaganda operation, which will veer even further to the right. Conservatism/libertarianism controls the "conspiracy" counterculture, which continually demonizes Democrats and liberals.

Compare today's political landscape to the Nixon era. Throughout Richard Nixon's presidency, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress; if memory serves, they also held most governorships. We were all Keynesians then, as Nixon himself admitted. Nothing like Fox News existed. The religious right had not yet found its muscles. Right-wing conspiracism did exist in the form of the John Birch Society and allied groups, but the weirdo reactionary paranoia which enthralls so many people nowadays was then relegated to the fringe of the fringe.

That was the situation before Watergate hit. When Nixon resigned, life become even more dismal for the Republicans. For a while.

If Hillary wins the presidency, all strains of conservatism will unite against her. Arguably, her election could be the best possible outcome for the GOP, since she will bring Republicans together in a way that Donald Trump never could.

If a new economic downturn hits, the Republicans will experience one of history's greatest rebounds. Such a downturn seems very likely regardless of who wins the election, and for one simple reason: No politician has found a way to outlaw the business cycle.

Donald the druggie? Trump biographer David Cay Johnston insists that there is no evidence that Donald has ever used any illegal drug. Of course, Johnston knows that he must never give Trump grounds for a legal suit.

But Princess Leia has no such fears. When a Twitter follower asked Carrie Fisher if Trump's sniffling indicated that he was a "coke head," Fisher responded: "I'm an expert & ABSOLUTELY!"

I'm no expert, and I honestly don't know if Fisher's claim is plausible or foolish. Still, there are a few other indicators, such as Trump's hyperactive behavior, his inability to concentrate and his nonsensical "word salad" speech patterns. One should recall that Trump used to spend a lot of time in clubs like Studio 54.

This site lists the symptoms of cocaine usage:
If a person is abusing powdered cocaine and they don’t want you to know, they may disappear to use the drug and then return in a very different mood. They may seem excited and act more confident and exhibit a greater sense of well-being. They may be more excited sexually and talkative. Their energy will be pumped up and they probably will not have very much appetite for food and will not have a normal sleep pattern.
Does any of that bring to mind a certain 3 a.m. Twitter user?
Mental state:

Unusual excitement
Poor judgment
Check, check, check, check, check, check, check. Does Trump have hallucinations? I don't think so -- not unless we count his insistence that famous women like Madonna and Kim Bassinger were hot for his body.

We must also consider Trump's strange interaction with his doctor: Those two men certainly seem to be hiding something.

The third debate: Should it be?
We know that Trump is pursuing a Ragnarok campaign. He's Adolf in the bunker, demanding the destruction of Germany -- and there is no Albert Speer on hand to subvert his most insane orders. Caught up in a world of slap-happy delusion, an unfettered Trump will continue to throw red meat to the Hill-haters and the Brietbarters. He really seems to believe that the best way to win over moderates is to pile on the crazy talk and the sleaze.

Hillary has nothing to gain from a third debate. Moreover, I honestly don't believe that that country yearns for another horror show like Debate #2. A third debate would be all schaden and no freude.

As Bill Moyers wrote yesterday:
Cancel the third debate.

No kidding. The dark and gloomy showdown in St. Louis last night was so depressing, so full of incivility, I hereby nominate it for the last of this awful election campaign.
Thanks mainly to Trump, but also to his enablers, politics for this year is wrecked. Yes, I want Hillary Clinton to trounce him. Yes, I think she’ll be a good president. But spare me, please, any further need for her to “hit a home run” to provide us insights into his smarmy soul. As a savvy political observer, I know how to avoid his slimy speeches; as a devoted New Yorker I can easily cross the street to evade his shiny buildings. But sit through another one-on-one with the same old garbage? No thanks. Really, there just isn’t enough hand sanitizer in the world.
Hillary needs an excuse to escape this unpleasant duty. What to do?

To me, the solution is simple -- though probably expensive. Just pay whatever it takes to get hold of the videos. Do it NOW.

We all know that there are further embarrassing Trump videos and audio recordings. Unfortunately, the producer of The Apprentice, Mark Burnett, remains a die-hard Trump fan.
“Mark knows about this behavior. He’s seen all the B-roll. There’s evidence on film. I guarantee you that. We all know somebody has a smoking gun,” says the source.

The source believes awareness extends beyond Burnett and that “everybody is tongue-tied, because they would never work for Burnett again.”
It has been said that anyone breaking the non-disclosure contract would incur a penalty of $5 million. It has also been reported that the worst of the recordings has Trump using "the N-word."

My advice to Team Hillary is the same advice that any sane person would give Marvel Entertainment during contract negotiations with Chris Hemsworth or ScarJo: Just pay the money.

In this case, we're talking about the amount of money necessary to pay the $5 million fine, plus enough long green to negate any need to work again in Hollywood -- or anywhere else. $10 million would seem a reasonable figure.

Of course, someone needs to come up with a way to make the payment quietly and within the boundaries of the law. That part may be difficult. But I think it can be done.

Just pay the money. Pay whatever it takes. Put the N-word tape, or something that has similar shock value, all over cable news and the internet the day before the third debate. Nobody outside of the Brietbart bubble would blame Hillary for cancelling.

The other possibility: Release NSA recordings of someone from Team Trump talking to someone on Team Vladimir.
Excellent point about pay the money. It's really not that much in the grander scheme of things.

Why was Trump upset about being mic'd? Two theories, on the Apprentice, maybe they used a boom mike? I would find that shocking since wireless mic's are basically a sure thing whereas a boom mike can miss at times. I would suspect the Video of Trump on the bus may have been mic'd via a wireless mic and maybe Trump didn't want to be reminded of the released video so soon after it happened?
I think your last possibility might come to pass. I just heard a guy on NPR say just that.
War is about to happen.
Trump many not be hallucinating but he sure as hell is delusional.
If they cancel the third debate they should give the time to Johnson and Stein.
There are non-trivial differences between this event and Watergate. While Nixon was ethically-challenged, he was an establishment Republican, and the party was unified in it's base. Plus, with the "Southern Strategy" just coming online, there was plenty of upside for a non-ethically challenged Republican to lead the party into a majority. That is just what Reagan did. There was no third-party option for Nixon or Nixonians, because their conservative views were still part of the Party.
The current situation is different. By rejecting Trump, the GOP leaders are rejecting a sizable portion of their base who have zero problem with the way Trump talks. In fact, they love it, it reflects who they actually are. What is more, Trump now seems to be running as much against the GOP as he is against Clinton, and his base admires him for that too. They aren't worried about the Republican party's prospects because they want to throw a bomb in the entire political works. Trump is only too happy to keep his base fired up against both the legacy parties after election day, and without that 15-25% of their base working for them, the GOP is in serious trouble.
There's no John Sinclair yet to claim Trump uses coke, and there would be, no? The sniffing sounds like a performance technique, inhaling before speaking, but he's got chronic sinusitis like every life-long New Yorker, and he's learned to inhale through the nose, which is less unhealthy than mouth-breathing.

Being semi-illiterate and more dull-witted, he missed an opportunity to channel Amy Schumer and Bill Clinton: "Yes, I grabbed once, but I didn't inhale".

Politics is a sporting contest but with only words instead of balls or physical talent. Let the geezers fight until a winner emerges, even if all the rules are loosed, like in "Rollerball".
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